George Washington Trail 1753 — 1754
Map of George Washington Trail
The first part of may trail led me from Washington D.C. along the Potomac River to Cumberland. Then I head on to Ft. Duquesne (today Pittsburgh) and to Ft. Presque Isle near the Erie Lake.
I am following the trails of George Washington, who travelled at the age of 21 the very same way in the years 1753—1754 in a diplomatic intention. The aim of this travel was to avoid the tapering conflicts with the French and the British. These conflicts started in the year of 1748 in Logstown, when the Indians of the Ohio valley signed a treaty with the British. This treaty granted the British the right for settling and trading in the souther Ohio valley. The reason for the Indians to sign this contract were the more and more worse trading goods from the French.
Now the British had the right to settle the Ohio valley. Virginia granted this right to the Ohio Company immediately with the order to secure the settling of this area. The French saw their predominance in the fertile Ohio valley in danger. So they started to build up forts along the british and french border. In the north they built Ft. Presque Isle, in the south Ft. Le Boeuf, Ft. Venango and Ft. Duquesne.
In the autumn of the year 1753, Major George Washington received the order from the Governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie, to investigate the troups along the border and to deliver a letter from Dinwiddie to the French. In this letter the Governor requested the French for the immediate retreat of their troops. On October 31st in the year 1753 George Washington started at Williamsburg. At Ft. Venango he delivered the letter of warning to the officer. But this officer had not the competence to accept this letter. So he sent George Washington to Ft. Le Boeuf. There he delivered the letter to Captain Legardeur de Saint–Pierre. But he refused to follow the orders in this letter and George Washington returned immediately.
In January 1754, George Washington was back in Williamsburg. There he informed the Governor immediately. The British started now themselves to form their troops. In May 1754, Goerge Washington, now Lieutenant Colonel, led a troop of 300 soldiers to Ft. Duquesne to attack the French. Unexpectately, this attack was very successfull. But soon he had to realize that a much bigger force of the French were on their way along the Allegheny. He decided to go back to the Great Meadows. As soon as they arrived, they built up a little Fort named Ft. Necessity. There they awaited the French. The fight started at the 3rd of July at 11 o’clock and it lasted only until dusk. Because of the inferiority in the number of soldiers and the very bad weather, he had to surrender. For this surrender he got the promise from the French, that his soldiers have the right to return to Virginia.
The consequence of this defeat was, that the British formed an even bigger troop and the conflict started to escalate. In the year of 1756, this conflict has grown worldwide and the fights started even in Europe. Nowadays this fight is known as the Seven Years War in history.
Follow me now on my daily trails: